Recap on Everything You Need to Know About Landing Pages

Recap

Last updated on August 16, 2017

what is a landing page summary
You learned a lot today about how to create a high-converting landing page — so much, that it warrants a brief review. Here’s a short recap you can use to refresh your memory before you take off to create your highest-converting landing page yet.

Chapter 1: Key takeaways
The most important information you can take away from chapter 1 is the true definition of a landing page, which is:

A landing page is a standalone web page, disconnected from a website’s navigation, created for the sole purpose of convincing a visitor to act (to sign up, buy, download, etc.).

Research shows that companies who use more landing pages generate more leads.

Chapter 2: Key takeaways

Landing pages are more effective at converting than other web pages because they eliminate distractions and deliver exactly what visitors expect. They do that by incorporating two elements into their design:

  • Message match: When prospects click through an ad, a landing page matches the message of that ad to deliver exactly what was promised in it. Brand colors, logos, along with text and images from the ad creative let visitors know they’re in the right place to claim the offer.
  • Optimized conversion ratio: A web page’s conversion ratio describes its ratio of links to click and conversion goals. A landing page conversion ratio is 1:1, meaning there is only link to click on that page: the one in the call-to-action. By removing all other outbound links, landing pages keep visitors focused on converting.

Together, these two differences form the foundation of a persuasive landing page that optimizes ad spend.

Chapter 3: Key takeaways

Any marketing campaign can benefit from a highly optimized landing page, but it’s paid campaigns that shouldn’t be run without one. When conversion is the goal, the following campaign types should always drive visitors to a landing page:

  • Social media advertising campaigns
  • Display advertising campaigns
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Retargeting campaigns

Chapter 4: Key takeaways

Message match and an optimized conversion ratio form the foundation of a persuasive landing page, but there’s much more involved in designing one. The anatomy of an effective landing page looks like this:

1. Navigationless header, body, footer: To attain a conversion ratio of 1:1, you shouldn’t have any outbound links in your page’s header, body or footer. There should be no easy route off your landing page. The only way your visitor should be able to exit the page is by clicking your CTA button or the “X” in the top corner of the browser window.

2. Alluring headline: It’s your headline’s job to convince your visitor to read the rest of your page. To do that, it should contain words used in the referrer (good message match), and answer the question every prospect asks before reading further: “What’s in it for me?”

3. A compelling call-to-action button: To compel a visitor to click, a CTA button should…

  • Emphasize the benefit of claiming an offer in the call-to-action.
  • Be big enough for your target to see and click (or tap with their finger on mobile).
  • Be shaped like other buttons on the web to make identifying it easy.
  • Be placed in the visitors’ line of sight.
  • Contrast other page elements to grab attention.

4. Skimmable copy: Your copy should emphasize the benefits of your offer over its features, and it should do it quickly and concisely. To be skimmable, your copy needs to be optimized for three things:

  • Legibility: How easily a reader can differentiate between different letters and characters in text. Your body copy shouldn’t be much smaller than 16px, and it should be dark on a light background (usually black on white).
  • Readability: How easy it is for your readers to actually read your entire landing page. Break block text into small paragraphs, avoid verbosity, and ensure your lines of copy don’t exceed 85 characters in length.
  • Comprehension: How well your readers can understand your subject. Tout the benefits of your product without jargon, and use small words to explain complicated concepts.

5. Engaging media: Pointless images are likely to be ignored by your visitors, so if you’re going to include media on your page, it should be for a reason.

  • Hero shots help visitors imagine a better life with your product. Think of them as an “after” image when the “before” is the prospects’ problematic life up until the moment they claim your offer.
  • Product images use informational camera angles to give prospects an idea of all the ins, outs, and features of your offer.
  • Infographics help visitors better conceptualize data with visual aids.
  • Icons break up text and make concepts more easily understandable.
  • Trust badges make your visitors more comfortable with converting by showcasing your authority, credibility, and by promising security.
  • Explainer videos tout your product’s benefits with a short animated story that takes your prospect through a PAS scenario (problem, agitation, solution). They’re effective when your product or service is new or complicated.
  • Introductory videos are effective when your product or service is new, or its success depends on the credibility of an unknown person. A video like this can introduce a person and prove their trustworthiness, and by extension, the value of their offer.
  • Video testimonials spotlight a delighted customer’s experience with your product or service.
  • Video case studies highlight a delighted customer’s experience with your product the way video testimonials do, but they focus more on your offer’s specific ROI.

6. A condensed form: A form is the biggest cause of landing page friction. To ensure your form doesn’t scare visitors away, make sure:

  • It only requests necessary information. Short forms will generate more leads, while longer ones will generate higher quality leads. The perfect number of form fields is a balance between what your team needs to know to qualify a lead and what your visitors are willing to give up for your content.
  • It’s easy to fill out. Fields should be ordered and labelled logically, special rules for input (like “must contain/not contain”) should be explained clearly, and error messages should be displayed prominently.

7. Strong trust indicators: Regardless of what you’re offering, you can’t earn a conversion without trust. The following types of indicators will help prove that you’re an authoritative and credible source:

  • Testimonials: These are often written quotes (though sometimes they’re in video form) from highly satisfied customers who tout your product on your behalf.
  • Security indicators: These are badges or icons (like a Norton Security logo, a lock icon, or a money-back guarantee badge) that let your visitors know their information and money is safe.
  • Authority indicators: These are titles (like Dr.), clothes (like an expensive suit), or accessories (nice car) that give the impression of authority.
  • Credibility indicators: These are indicators that back up the impression of authority with actual proof, like awards, social counters, or logos of high-profile customers and publications you’ve been featured in.

Chapter 5: Key takeaways

Arranging the aforementioned elements is no easy task. Knowing where to put them takes an understanding of Gestalt psychology and how people read on the web:

  • Gestalt psychologists discovered that our attention is drawn to things that are different from their surroundings. They called these differences “anomalies.”
  • The Nielsen Norman Group found that, online, people read in an F-shaped pattern. First, they read the headline; next, they scan down the side of the page for subheads; lastly, they read across the page whenever they find bolded or italicized information valuable to them.

Knowing both these things, you can draw attention to the most important information on your landing page by:

  • Arranging your elements to accommodate the F-pattern style of reading.
  • Altering the characteristics of your headline, benefits, and call-to-action to make them stand out from surrounding content. Do that by changing their weight, size, position, color, density, and the white space around them.

Once you know how you’ll position your elements on the page, it’s time to determine the page’s colors. Here’s how:

Use the 60-30-10 rule: Your landing page color scheme is made up of a background, base, and accent color.

  • Your background color should cover about 60% of the total page. The best choice here is white, since black copy displays well on it (which is crucial for readability). If not white, the color you choose should be subtle and almost unnoticeable.
  • Your base color should appear in the footer, header, and form. Dedicate 30% of your color scheme to these elements.
  • Your accent color should only appear in your logo and call-to-action button. Dedicate 10% of your color scheme to these elements.

Together, these will create an effect that draws attention to the call-to-action. Your background and base color should be analogous or monochromatic in relation to each other. Your call-to-action should be complementary to your base color.

Chapter 6: Key takeaways

The term “landing page” encompasses five different types of pages. Which you use will depend on its goal, and where your visitors are in the funnel. Here’s what you should know about them before picking one:

  • Squeeze page: These are modal windows made for capturing email addresses to begin a lead nurturing initiative. They’re most valuable at the top of the funnel.
  • Splash page: These are pages that you, the advertiser, redirect your visitors to before sending them off to their destination. Their goal isn’t always conversion. They can also be created to make an announcement, or to allow visitors the opportunity to choose how they want to interact with the following page (which language they prefer, for example). They can be used throughout the funnel.
  • Lead capture page: Marketers use these to qualify leads. They’re the most widely used and versatile landing pages, featuring lead capture forms that request key prospect information at each stage of the funnel.
  • Click-through page: These pages are best for high-scrutiny conversion goals. Usually, they’re made to warm up your reader to the most friction-causing element known to marketers: the credit card form.
  • Sales page: These are routinely the longest type of landing page and the most difficult to get right. A sale is a business’s most challenging conversion goal. As such, it takes nearly all the elements in chapter 4 to elicit it. These are valuable at the very bottom of your funnel (although, some are so skillfully written that they take readers all the way from the awareness stage to the purchase stage with just one piece of content. See a few of them here).

Now start converting!

With that brief refresher, you’re free to convert your traffic to leads and customers like never before. Start building professional landing pages faster with Instapage, the most designer-friendly platform on the web.